Under Genghis Khan in the 13th century, the Mongolian Empire stretched from China to central Europe, the magnitude of which is unparalleled in world history. When Marco Polo (1254-1323?) met Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis, the Khan asked Polo, “Please send us one hundred teachers, well learned in the seven arts and well able to prove that the way of Christ is best.” Marco Polo, seeing the significance of the request, hastened back to Pope Gregory X. Missing a divine open door, the Pope sent two teachers with the instruction to Khan, “Become politically and ecclesiastically attached to Rome.” Khan rejected this request and the empire gradually adopted a Tibetan form of Buddhism.
God’s total answer to man’s total need is not political but spiritual. Man is searching for an ultimate reality, a total answer; man is searching for the kingdom of God. Jesus, who knew all men’s hearts, made the kingdom of God his central message. Jesus spoke of the kingdom over one hundred times in the New Testament. No other one topic comes close. E. Stanley Jones said it well, “the answer is simple: discover the kingdom, surrender to the kingdom, make the kingdom your life loyalty and your life program; then in everything and everywhere you will be relevant. For the kingdom of God is relevancy—ultimate and final.”
Christianity for the most part has lost its absolute—the kingdom of God. We have adopted the American way of life, exchanged the kingdom for conservative politics or liberal politics, take your pick—anything and everything but, the kingdom of God. The church needs nothing so much as it needs a rediscovery of the kingdom of God.
When we surrender our lives to the kingdom of God, we discover peace, purpose, and power for living. Jesus made this his central message, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” God’s redemptive totalitarianism—the kingdom of God. There are no substitutes.
On the Road,